Subject: LUSA: Legal System to Retain Tetun and Bahasa Indonesia

06 Sep 01 15:44 East Timor: Legal System to Retain Tetun and Bahasa Indonesia

Courts in East Timor will continue to use the languages Tetun (the territory's lingua franca) and Bahasa Indonesia for a period of 15 years, the vice president of the Dili Court said Thursday.

Rui Pereira dos Santos told the Timor Post newspaper that despite the likelihood of Portuguese being made the official language of East Timor in the future constitution, Tetun and Bahasa will be used in legal proceedings, as they are at present the most commonly used languages in the judicial system.

Courts in East Timor currently work in Tetun, Bahasa, Portuguese and English, although most documents are written in Tetun or Bahasa, the national language of Indonesia.

"The courts will not risk using a language that is not understood by a majority of the population", Pereira dos Santos added.

CJB -Lusa-

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